By Bill Short
Board members took the action during their May 13 regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Thomas McGhee and seconded by Alderman Al Bell.
The ordinance was unanimously passed on first reading at the board’s March 11 meeting.
Charles Goforth, planning consultant for the city, said he is “excited about this,” because it “actually allows a lot more flexibility.”
The Old Town district basically consists of the “triangle” formed by the intersection of Church Street, Navy Road and Easley Street.
Goforth has noted that much of Easley was developed before the Shelby County government approved its first zoning ordinance in 1956. And the first portion of Navy was constructed like Easley, with the buildings “up on the street.”
Because most of the western part of Navy was developed under current zoning ordinances, Goforth has said it has large setbacks and large areas between the buildings.
When Millington established the Old Town district in 2009, the city planned to adopt regulations regarding permitted and prohibited uses, signage, design review and landscaping.
But until this ordinance was passed, the underlying zoning classifications and regulations remained in effect for each parcel of real property within the district.
Goforth has called that “important,” because the zoning is primarily B-2, General Commercial, which carries a 10-foot side yard and a 50-foot front setback.
If someone bought one of the buildings and demolished it, he has said there would not be “enough lot” to construct something new.
“So, this allows the buildings to be closer, the way they were before,” he noted. “And I think it’ll help encourage development in the Old Town area.”
In January 2018, Goforth and the members of a Master Plan Advisory Committee agreed that the Old Town district should include all the commercial property in its B-1, Neighborhood Commercial, and B-2 zoning, while excluding the residential areas.
In April 2018, the Millington Municipal Planning Commission adopted an update to the city’s 20-Year Master Plan, which the board voted unanimously to accept at its May 2018 meeting.
The plan recommended that Chapter 23 of the Zoning Ordinance, also known as the Old Town Ordinance, be replaced with a revised version.
The commission has selected revitalization of the Old Town district as its top priority for implementing the Master Plan.
In October 2018, commission members approved proposed amendments to the Old Town Ordinance and recommended that the board adopt them into the Zoning Ordinance.